Australia’s Police Consider Cybercops’ Strategy

Australasian Police Commissioners has released a cyber strategy to deal
with crime associated with information technologies including the Internet,
at the International Policing Conference in Adelaide this week.

Under the proposed strategy, initiated a year ago, the country’s police
commissioners have highlighted the possible creation of cybercops,
cybercourts and cyberjudges among the innovative approaches they will
need to take to tackle the problem of electronic crime.

The police has identified such crimes as those where a computer is used as a
tool to commit an offence, or as a target of an offence, or the use of a
computer as a storage device in relation to an offence.

Also on the list of new approaches the police commissioners are considering
is more work with and reliance on the private sector to assist with what
has previously been perceived as traditional police work, said Australian
Federal Police Commissioner Mick Palmer.

For instance, it may be necessary to give serious consideration to
police/private sector alliances in areas such as forensic computing to
optimise the capacity of both the private sector and law enforcement,
Palmer added. The private sector is already playing a significant role in
the investigation of fraud, etcetera, against large companies, however the
broader private sector also has a key role in preventing e-crime and
computer security incidents and ensuring that appropriate risk management
strategies are adopted o protect key business systems.

This notion of partnership is one of five key areas the nation’s police
commissioners have resolved must be dealt with collectively in the fight
against e-crime. Other areas are prevention, education and capability,
resources and capacity and regulation and legislation.

3Some of the main challenges the strategy had to address were the anonymity,
speed and the potential for large scale victimisation associated with
electronic crime,2 said Palmer, who also chaired the Commissioners
Conference Electronic Crime Steering Committee. Strategic and effective
partnerships, and ongoing consultation, with the community and the private
sector will be absolutely essential to the success of the strategy.
Commissioners have recognised that such partnerships must be genuine, mutual
and cooperative.

According to US figures quoted by the commissioners as support for the
e-crime strategy, 30 percent of major corporations in the United States
reported e-crime incidents in 1999, at a cost of US$123.779 million. In
2000, about 70 of corporations reported incidents, at a cost in excess of
US$265.590 million.

Australia has also seen a rise in computer security incidents. An Australian
Computer Emergency Response Team report recorded 1816 incidents reported in
1999, which had escalated to 8197 in 2000.

As the digital environment extends beyond geographical boundaries, the
police commissioners acknowledged global issues that would present
challenges to investigations, in areas such as jurisdiction, managing
strategic relationships and ensuring security, dealing with various privacy
regimes, reliance on telecommunications carriers and ISPs, managing
extraditions and transborder searches of computer data repositories and
communications interceptions.

Australian police commissioners said that they would discuss these issues
with international criminal investigation organizations, such as the FBI and
Interpol, and speakers from these bureaux have attended the conference this
week to renew this dialogue.

News Around the Web